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Chapter 29 :Chapter 29
(Manik’s POV) The next day, Nandini went to work as usual, Navya and I worked from our laptop. Suddenly Payal had woken up from her sleep and started crying. It was Payal’s time to get hungry. So Navya went towards the room and fed her. after that,
(Navya giving Payal to Manik) “Hey. Here you go. You need to burp her and put her to sleep.”
(Manik) “Can’t you do it? Can’t you see I am working. Please Navya give me a little consideration at least.”
(Navya) “I can but it would be a waste to not make use of a perfect slave who can do things for you.”
(Manik) “That’s harsh.”
(Manik’s POV) I took the baby from her. I looked at the platinum blond hair baby, who took after the best things of her parents, Navya’s looks, Cabir’s blond hair and eyes. Manik then spoke “She is so beautiful. She is small but perfect. She will grow up to be a stunner. So, how does it feel to be a Mom?”.
(Navya) “Well, for starters, my whole world now revolves around her; my work, my time, at times, even Cabir. She, in an instant, became my everything. Sometimes, I wonder how my mom left Varun and I, if she felt the same emotions I do.”
(Manik’s POV) I am shocked that Navya answered me without any sarcasm. I felt like I got my Navya back.. My little sister back.. I felt like crying but I didn’t want to.. I just wanted everything to stop and cherish the moment. But I knew it ain’t possible so i spoke to her
(Manik) “She is a pathetic woman. To think she would try to be a Mom at your engagement when she left you screaming when you were a child, she disgusts me.”
(Navya) “I just hope I won’t be as bad as my mom.” She prayed.
(Manik) “You are incomparable to that woman! Your Mom is a completely different story. She is a spineless woman who ran away from her children to her Dad after the divorce knowing that the children have no one but her. Hateful bastard! You won’t be like that because you were brought up by Deendayal Dadaji and my Dadaji. You would be everything to Payal.”
(Navya unknowingly when Manik patted her head spoke) “I missed this. I really did. Whenever I felt down, you always encouraged me. I really didn’t like being angry at you.”
(Manik) “Don’t tell me. You were the one who wouldn’t talk with me.”
(Navya) “Its because you are” I stopped her.
(Manik) “I know. I know. You have every right to be angry. I missed you too.”
(Navya simply asked) “Why are you here every week, Manik Bhai?”
(Manik’s POV) She talked casually and kindly; nothing like the Navya who was enraged yesterday
(Manik) “Do you even have to ask? I want to win over her.”
(Navya) “Are you really in love with her?”
(Manik) “Yes. If I could, I could leave all the work and be with her but I can’t. How do you want me to prove it to you?”
(Navya) “Are you sure its not infatuation?”
(Manik) “How Old Do You Think I Am? I Am Not A High School Kid To Be Infatuated! Don’t put it like I have never been with girls.”
(Navya) “Are you feeling guilty?”
(Manik) “I don’t feel guilty about my actions. I never intend to apologise for it. She left me desperate, making me struggle to find a sane way to connect her to me. I didn’t know how else to make her see me when she was running away from me. But when I knew about how she was raped before, I felt guilty. Guilty that I put her through the hell again.”
(Navya) “I still hate what you did but since she is willing to forgive you, I will grit it.”
(Manik) “What? Forgive me?”
(Navya) “Yes. She is insane to do it, if you ask me. Anyway, talk with her.”
Nandini heard their entire conversation as he was on line with Navya. Nandini wanted to be sure that Manik really loves her. That is why Navya planned to bring out his feelings and in one way Navya was also ready to forgive him.
(Navya) “Talk whatever. I don’t care anymore. I am going out for a walk. Also, look at the mirror. You are a vision indeed. I wish I could take a picture and show it to others.”
(Manik blushing) “Navya is always like this, pulling pranks on others.”
(Nandini) “I asked Navya.”
(Manik) “Nandini, lets talk about us next week when I come over without Navya. Is that fine?”
(Nandini) “Yes, Yes. That would be good.”
(Manik) “Bye” I hung up the phone.
(Navya) “So, you want to talk when I am not there, uh? No problems. Don’t let her cry.”
(Nandini’s POV) The Thursday after Navya left, I couldn’t contain my excitement for Manik to come. I couldn’t believe that Navya tossed the phone to him. It was embarrassing. But he said we would talk. As I was preparing dinner, the phone rang.
(Girl) “Nandini Murthy”
(Girl continued) “Hey dear. Its Jack.”
(Nandini’s POV) I was happy that Jack called but why so suddenly. I thought my part in the research was over.
(Nandini disinterestedly spoke) “Yeah. Tell. How is the research work going on?”
(Jack) “I called you about that. There is a problem and I want you to come over this weekend if possible?”
(Nandini hesitated because Manik comes all the weekend) “This weekend?”
(Nandini again) “Is it something major? Can’t I do it over from here?”
(Jack) “Please come here, Nandini.”
(Nandini) “Fine. I will be there tomorrow evening.”
(Jack) “Thank you! Thank you so much! All the accommodations for you are ready.”
I hung up her call and called Manik
(Manik) “Tell me, Nandini.”
(Nandini) “Um, is it okay if you don’t come over this weekend?”
(Manik) “Something wrong?”
(Nandini) “Jack wanted me over. There seems to be a problem with the research. I would have to stay the weekend there.”
(Manik hearing Jack’s name) “Jack?” (He still doesn’t know that Jack is a girl and Nandini is having fun not to mention about the same)
(Manik) “Do you have to go?”
(Nandini) “Yes. Its not like we are alone you know. There are other people there.”
(Manik)“Hmmm. Fine. Actually, I also didn’t know what to do. I was thinking of coming over and there is this problem over here, I was in doubt as to what to do.”
(Nandini) “What? You weren’t going to come over and you complain about me going?”
(Manik) “I told you, I hadn’t decided yet.”
(Nandini) “Fine. Do what you want and she hung up the call”
The next day when I got to Jack’s place, Manik called.
(Nandini angered) “Yes. Tell me, Manik.”
(Manik) “I am sorry.”
(Nandini) “Why are you apologising?”
(Manik) “I have some problems that have popped over the last two weeks. That is why and sorry for the way I spoke to you the other day”
(Nandini couldn’t hold on to her anger) “That is not a problem. Anything serious?”
(Manik) “Not really. I need to be here.”
(Nandini worriedly)“Is it because Navya asked you take leave?”
(Manik) “Not exactly. I don’t know when I can come to see you.”
(Nandini) “You mean?”
(Manik) “I don’t know when I can come over again. I will call you again when I get time.”
(Nandini) “Sure. But what is the problem?”
(Manik) “Don’t worry about that, Nandini. Take care of your health. I will call again. There is some work. Bye.”
(Nandini’s POV) It has been three weekends since we have met. I feel like a hollow when I don’t get to see him. We used to talk on phone but they were short quick calls. I felt depressed. He was jealous and worried because Jack was spending time with me. That much he showed in his voice over the phone but he didn’t tell anything beyond that. Did he change his mind after going back? Only through work, I could forget my insecurity. Been two months already. If it were the old confident Nandini, I clutch his collars and ask him straight out but I am not the same anymore. I trust him but why doesn’t he tell me what is wrong? The phone rang without seeing the number she picked up . I reached for it hoping that it will be Manik. What a coward I have turned into?
(Callen) “Dr. Callen, here. Do me a favour as I am on vacation, there is an old patient coming to stay. So you have to house visit him. His file would be sent over by afternoon.
(Nandini) “Yes. I see. I will take that house visit. Thank you, Sir.”
(Nandini’s POV) An old man who decided to settle in this town needs a weekly check up and he bought the property up the highland that leads directly to the beach. I wanted to buy it. That stubborn old woman didn’t sell it to me but has now sold it to him. Why should I be the one to do these check ups? The patient history will be coming only this afternoon. But, its not in me to wait for it. Lets go and chat up with that old man. Picking up my spirits, I walked over to the manor. A spacious building with a living room, six bedrooms, a small ballroom, and rest of the necessities; all in a cosy environment.
The door was opened by a maid. She inquired and went in to inform. Some time later, I was shown into a study. The first sight on the old man, I felt he was formidable. Odd word but somehow it suited him. Well-built man, surely he should have been an athlete when he was young but now, a big tummy replaced his would have been ab; bald man, with a short beard, kids may cry at the sight of him. He got up to greet me.
(Old Man) “Hello. You must be the doctor who Mr. Callen said would be coming over. I didn’t think you would come soon.”
(Nandini) “Yes. Mr. Callen said the patient file will be available only after this noon. I thought I would say hello before that. I am Nandini Murthy. I will be your doctor for sometime.”
(Old Man) “What a small world! Never expected to meet a Murthy here and that too, Nandini Murthy. I always wanted to meet you. Too bad we couldn’t meet before.”
Nandini gave him a shocked and confused look. So the old man understood and spoke
(Old Man) “Oh! Callen never told you my name?”
(Nandini) “No. He asked me to look over the file.”
(Old Man) “Really? Silly man! Well, Nandini, would you like some tea?”
Before continuing his talks, the old man through the intercom called in for sandwiches and tea.
(Old Man) “Now that our current needs are settled, let me introduce myself. I am Veer Malhotra, your exfiancé’s Dadaji and former Chairman of Malhotra group.”
Nandini was again shocked on hearing this. She wanted to know if Manik knew about it but Veer Dadaji had interrupted her thoughts and spoke (Veer Dadaji short form would be VD)
(VD) “Before you let your imagination run, let me tell you, I am here because our family doctor suggested going to a place where snow doesn’t pile up much. I don’t think it will here. He wanted me to go out of the country, but I don’t like it one bit being away from my family too long. But I never expected to find you here. So, this is where Manik has been running to every weekend.”
(Nandini’s POV) I felt a bit uncomfortable when he said that. I was shocked. I felt as if he was evaluating me. But luckily the maid had come with Sandwiches and Tea. I was happy with that interruption.
(VD) “Have these tiny things to heart’s wishes. You know, I never expected Manik to be smitten by anyone. I thought he would stay single all his life. But then, I thought even I would be a bachelor myself and look at me now, a retired man, with five grandchildren and three great grandchildren, now its four. I keep forgetting that Manik has a daughter. Who would have guessed that I would live see Manik like this! I am sorry if I made you feel uncomfortable.”
(Nandini) “No, not really. It is fine.”
(VD) “Has anyone ever told you that you are too polite? If none did, then I will tell you that you are. You need to loosen up otherwise patients won’t trust you much.”
(Nandini’s POV) Thank god he came to that topic. Though I want to ask so many things to Manik’s Dadaji, he is somewhat intimidating even for me.
(Nandini) “Sir, if you can”
(VD) “Don’t call me Sir. It feels like I am back at work again. Call me Dadaji it would be much better.”
(Nandini’s POV) I am not sure if I should be anymore shocked. Who would like to be addressed like that easily telling others their age? I decided to stop feeling uncomfortable. He does seem to be, so why should I? If he is going to see through my actions easily, then there is no need to keep up the polite act.
(Nandini) “Okay. Dadaji, tell me about your health. How is it?”
(Nandini’s POV) He told me about his health condition and we passed the morning talking about it and I was relieved to get out of there soon. But I still didn’t ask why Manik has not come over. If Manik isn’t willing to tell me, I have no intentions of asking his family to know.
Precap : Nandini to get to know the problems that Manik is facing in his official work through Veer Dadaji (VD)